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Controversial ad serving firm Adzilla pulls out of the US

'We have stepped out for a little...'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Controversial behavioural advertising firm Adzilla has reportedly quit the US market. The move follows the resignation of chief exec Toby Gabriner.

Gabriner told the New York Times that a stronger than expected backlash against the privacy implications of its Phorm-like technology derailed the firm's business plans. "It’s not like I didn’t know that privacy was a potential third rail," he said. "None of us saw that it would become this much of an issue this quickly."

Adzilla plans to try its luck with Asian ISPs, who have a different take on privacy, according to Gardiner. A revamp of its technology may also be on the cards, in a message on the firm's website (possibly taken after mixing happy pills with too much caffeine) is to to taken at face value.

"Excuse the construction. We have stepped out for a little...to develop new solutions and services to delight users and enhance the online ecosystem experience," the notice states.

Adzilla is yet to respond to our request to shed light on this statement or explain its new business model. Most of the firm's workforce have reportedly been laid off in the latest blow against players in the controversial targeted advertising space.

Congressional hearings on behavioral advertisers have pulled the rug from under the business model of firms such as Adzilla and NebuAd by prompting ISP partners to back away from relationships over concerns that partnerships in the area, especially those without explicit user consent, could invite tighter regulation.

So firms like Adzilla are left with an uphill task of getting punters to consent to having their surfing monitored with few tangible benefits in return. "Without massive consumer value proposition, I think this fails. I don’t think consumers want to opt in simply to get better ads," he said. ®

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